The Miami Marlins opened the second half of the season on Friday night with a 5-1 loss to the first-place Washington Nationals. The Marlins have a golden opportunity to gain some ground on the division leaders with this four-game set just two weeks before the trade deadline, but they'll now need to rebound over the weekend. Josh Johnson was roughed up by the Nats' offense, which managed 13 hits against Miami and jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
Johnson was credited with giving up all five runs, including a two-run homer to Ryan Zimmerman. Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann, on the other hand, shut down the Marlins, who never really mounted much of a threat. With Zimmermann out of the game, Justin Ruggiano worked a walk against Henry Rodriguez and immediately stole two bases to set up Miami's only run of the night.
Mark Buerhle will try to even the series on Saturday night against All-Star Gio Gonzalez.
Stay with this StoryStream throughout the weekend for more updates on the Marlins series against first-place Washington. For more on the Marlins as they start the second half of the season, visit Fish Stripes. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball. And for all your baseball news coming out of the All-Star break, visit Baseball Nation.